Compassion At Its Highest

images I was asked by a lady in Starbucks, why I gave up my seat to a  homeless woman.

Because I could, to quote George Clooney.  She’s someone I often see at various Starbucks in the neighborhood.  She never asks for anything…orders a tall coffee and doesn’t look all that homeless.  I see her sometimes in front of a church on Lexington Avenue sitting quietly next to a sign that says in small letters…please help.

My heart opens for her.

This is what I have to say about compassion.

I’ve always had it instilled in me at an early age.  My grandfather, who spent his life in service, taught me, that not everyone was blessed with shelter and food on their table.

It’s three years since I’ve lost much of my hearing heightening my compassion level to the peak of the Andes.  I am not the person I used to be.  I’ve been leveled, cut down to size, humbled to the point where I often can’t meet the gaze of another.

To be stripped of something so fundamental…a given since birth…like steering when you drive a car, is more than a little bewildering because everything you took for granted changes.

I can’t have a comfortable phone conversation anymore.  Talking to me is hell on a wire.  I send notes to people apologizing, knowing just how hard it is.

Please text, or email, I ask…but people forget and basically don’t care.


Because though for the grace of God go I?  One can only hope.

It’s hasn’t happened to them.  They don’t get how difficult it is, therefore have no patience for the likes of deaf you.

I recently lost a great job because they were calling me, and didn’t hear them.  I apologized, came clean, and they said..oh it’s okay….we understand, and never called again.  A lawsuit in the making, if it could only be proven.  There is too much wiggle room to be had: oh…she’s unfortunately too old for what we need even though we like her so… she’s just not right…it’s not personal.

Yeah…jerk me off again why don’t you…but back to compassion.

I see others struggle.  Whether it’s a blind person or someone with MS…the lady afraid to cross the street, or a woman sitting on a church step quietly asking for alms.

My heart that was pretty wide before, is now stretched like a wad of gum.

I often feel my life as I’ve known it, has been stolen from me.  But then think, maybe it’s just been recycled into one that can do more good.

When I stop to help or offer my seat, I’m truly at my best.  There’s no artifice to me showing up at my purest.

Is there not a grace in that?

I can’t help wondering.

Where the fuck is Helen Keller when you need a few pointers?





About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Faith, Gratitude, New York City and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Compassion At Its Highest

  1. micklively says:

    Helen died in Connecticut in 1968, aged 87.
    It occurred to me, that you could ask the lady in Starbuck’s, why she thinks she shouldn’t give up her seat. But maybe that is a tad too divisive?
    Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susannah, you are at your best anyway, because you’re real. And its also why another soul in trouble will always benefit by being in your company.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    I’ve often found that when I do nice things for others that I also benefit. I’m happier with myself and everything around me. I bet you’re the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
    Reblogging this because if it influences one person, you’ve made your mark Susannah. Compassion is a word we don’t see in action much these days. A little goes a long way though. Susannah intends to not let compassion die and it’s a good thing. Thanks Thingirl for not losing sight of your upbringing…~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. St. Francis is right! Any time you do a kind gesture to others you are multiplying the blessings to yourself. I am sorry about your hearing, I am not going to bore you with platitudes, but may you be able to find some goodness in it. As you said, your compassion is heightened and I imagine other areas that have been dormant will also now awaken. Rejoice in the other senses! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very good piece worthy of publication. Compassion is a funny thing. I have it for animals to the nth degree. As for people, I’ve seen so many scams that I sometimes hold back even though it’s better to be scammed occasionally then closed to the plight of others. A good mantra for me would be “What would Susannah do?”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia says:

    Receiving is in the giving. You are a blessing to those you really see. Maybe you see what’s around you because you don’t hear the noise of indifference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow…how poetic is that? I think much of it comes from being alone my whole life. You observe missing very little with the ongoing choice of to walk on by or not. I choose to stop more often than not.


  8. OMG! On Tuesday I had an elderly man come into the office. I’m not normally at the desk, but I was helping out. This man informed me that he had 4 toes that were “dead.” Of course I’m imagining gangrenous toes! I squeeze him in after hearing his tale. Fortunately, his toes were numb, not dead and he left relieved. Later I was told by my co-worker that I need to be less compassionate. Um .. NO!
    Seriously….who the fuck says be less compassionate? I just let her know that will not be happening.
    Compassionate people need to balance out the fuckery in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike Feddersen says:

    “The things you do for the least of thees, you do unto ME.” We are called to be HIS hands and feet. Sometimes a lot easier said than done. Don’t think of yourself as recycled Susannah, you have been Upcycled. As for the hearing, GOD gives us exceptions to allow us to be Exceptional.

    Liked by 1 person

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